5/28/10

DRAFT: - John Richmond, Jared Hoying, Daniel Renken, Chris Bisson ... and Blake Cooper

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John Richmond:

5-27 from: - http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/MLB_Draft  - But centerfielder Josh Richmond was supposed to be among that triumvirate of offense. Richmond missed 41 games after breaking his left hand on March 3 against Evansville. The 6-2 205-pound Richmond, according to one AL West scout "plays like his hair is on fire. Like Eric Byrnes." Like Michigan outfielder Ryan LaMarre, Richmond doesn't have off-the-charts tools. But LaMarre knows what it's like to battle back from injury. He broke his thumb early in the year and has bounced back strong, hitting .403 with five homers and 31 RBI. He is being talked about as a late-first round guy because of his signability, but talent-wise, he's more like a second rounder.

Jared Hoying:

5-25 from: - http://baseballdraftreport.com/2010/05/25/2010-mlb-draft-top-30-college-third-base-prospects-30-21  - Top 30 College Third Base Prospects - 24. Toledo JR 3B Jared Hoying - Hoying’s an interesting scouting, coaching, and prospect development test case. His swing is ugly, but his bat speed is exceptional. Knowing that, do you a) let Hoying be Hoying and go with what works, b) attempt to make slight alterations while preserving the integrity of the swing, or c) work to maintain Hoying’s great bat speed while simultaneously trying to reinvent his swing mechanics? More to the point, how exactly do you go about coaching the kid up? What coaches in the organization do you assign to help him? How much time and energy should be spent working with a mid-round draft prospect? Hoying’s swing isn’t the only intriguing, but raw part of his game. He’s an obviously raw defender, but the tools, most notably a plus arm and athleticism equally suited up the middle, are there for him to succeed anywhere in the infield in a pinch. His high strikeout rate is absolutely a concern, but the aforementioned bat speed, plus arm, and above-average base running give him the look of a potential above-average utility infielder in the mold of former Ranger, Indian, Cub, Brave, Brewer, Rockie, Cub again, Pirate, Dodger, Indian again, Pirate again, and Phillie Jose Hernandez.

Daniel Renken:

5-27 from: - http://baseballbeginnings.com/2010/05/27/daniel-renken-update  - Daniel Renken showed in his outing at Long Beach how and why he is really good at being what he is. Renken is a tall right-hander with a long wing span and a lean and lanky frame. What he lacks in power he makes up in pitch-ability, which is why he’s had success as a college pitcher leading up to the draft. As a professional, Renken will need to continue refining what he does in order to give himself the best chance for a long career. He lacks premier right-handed velocity and arm speed, which is no secret. He pitched comfortably at 87-88 in this look, sometimes hitting 89 and fewer times bumping 90. He throws a sweeping slider across his body to right-handed hitters, which he alternates with his change-up, which is 77-80. Renken pitched with his fastball and change-up in the early innings, bringing his slider into the game as he got into the order for a third time. He’s a low ball pitcher with natural sink and run, but because he lacks power, he needs precision to survive as a pro. One other adjustment that would concern me going forward is the tendency to hook his wrist on his breaking ball. This speaks to the fact that Renken really lacks a put-away breaking ball entering pro ball.

Chris Bisson

5-27 from: - http://www.mlbbonusbaby.com/2010/5/27/1489645/top-5-by-position-second-basemen#comments  - Chris Bisson is a Canadian prospect that only moved over to second base this spring to accommodate a better defensive shortstop in teammate Taylor Black. Bisson sat on the bench as a part-time player during his freshman year, but he was a breath of fresh air with his hard-nosed play for the Wildcats as a sophomore in 2009. After leading the Cape Cod League in steals last summer, he was expected to step up even more as a junior. However, he’s basically stagnated due to an offensive approach that is questionable. Instead of letting his plus speed play out, he’s tried to drive the ball in the air too much, causing a decline in his batting average and only minimal returns on his actual overall production. However, he’s still a solid prospect, and with some tweaking, he could be a solid contributor as a pro. His tools rely on the plus speed mentioned above. He causes havoc on the basepaths, and he’s made big strides in reading pitchers over the last 12 months. He’s a hard worker with an aptitude for learning, and even though his hit tool is average and he has very little raw power, he’s going to be productive enough offensively to squeeze out a starting spot on a number of teams. Defensively, he has above-average range for the position, but a fringe-average arm limits him to the right side of the infield for the foreseeable future. He could return to shortstop in a pinch if needed, but that doesn’t use his natural tools as effectively as second base does. He could be off the board as early as the third round and shouldn’t last into the sixth round.

Blake Cooper:

5-27 from: - http://www.baseballrumormill.com/2010/05/chris-duffy-leads-senior-surprises/#more  - Senior Surprises - Blake Cooper, South Carolina, RHP - At 5'10" and a pitcher, Cooper has to be phenomenal to make it to the big leagues. However, Cooper's been very good this season: 10-0 with a 3.01 ERA and 79 strikeouts. According to Churchill, he throws "primarily a fastball in the 88-91 mph range, a curveball and the occasional slider and splitter."

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